Thursday, July 29, 2010

3/20th of #38, Check!

#38, "See 20 Classic Films" -- 3 down

This summer, on one of the random-travels, I landed in South Carolina for a couple weeks for camp and a wedding. During which, I stayed with the coolest family ever and happened to notice that they'd rented Roman Holiday. Ecstatic, yes. For I've hardly had time to watch anything off my bucket-list So we watched it!

The concept of a princess going out undercover, lol, reminded me a lot of "Aladdin" and "My Date with the President's Daughter"....such like those. But it was charming. Disappointed in the ending, yes. BUT, it was an adorable movie, and of course, it's a classic. That means you have to watch it :)

Some fun facts, courtesy of

~ Paramount originally wanted to shoot this movie in Hollywood. William Wyler refused, insisting it must be shot on location. They finally agreed, but with a much lower budget. This meant the movie would now be in Black-n-White, not the expected Technicolor, and he would need to cast an unknown actress as the Princess - Audrey Hepburn.

~ Audrey Hepburn won the role of Ann thanks to a legendary screen test. In it, she performed one of the scenes from the film, but the cameraman was instructed to keep the cameras rolling after the director said, "Cut." Several minutes of unrehearsed, spontaneous Hepburn was thus captured on film and this, combined with some candid interview footage, won her the role.

~ When filming the scene where the princess (Audrey Hepburn) says her goodbyes to Joe, the inexperienced Hepburn was unable to produce the necessary tears, eventually causing director William Wyler to complain at the number of wasted takes. Hepburn promptly burst into tears and the scene was filmed successfully.

~ For the famous "Mouth of Truth" scene, Gregory Peck ad-libbed the joke where he pretends that his hand was bitten off in the mouth of the stone carving. He borrowed the gag from Red Skelton. Prior to filming the scene, Peck told director William Wyler that he was going to do the gag, but that they should not tell Audrey Hepburn. When Peck pulled his arm out of the stone carving's mouth with his hand pulled up his sleeve, Hepburn's horror and surprise was genuine. She gave what she later recalled was "a good and proper scream," and the scene was finished in one take.

~ The sheet of paper Hennessy (Hartley Power) reads the interview questions from is actually a page of the script.

~ After filming, Gregory Peck informed the producers that, as Audrey Hepburn was certainly going to win an Oscar (for this, her first major role), they had better put her name above the title. They did and she did.

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